Letters to the Editor

From the issue of August 31, 2000

I am certain Raul knew the whole story [regarding Bolaños allegedly lying to investigators about his son's criminal past]. Don't forget that the chief once said on television that Raul was his mentor and brother, so I am sure the mayor was informed before hiring his son as an officer.

Here's an irony: Despite the hatred that has existed between John Rivera, president of the Miami-Dade Police Benevolent Association, and Martinez and Bolaños, they are now in bed together against Katherine Fernandez Rundle. Talk about politics making strange bedfellows.

I work for the City of Hialeah, so no name. Keep up the good work.

Name Withheld by Request

Prosecuting the Police
The State Attorney's Office takes heat no matter what the outcome
By Jim DeFede

Smile, You're on Hookercam
In video we trust:
I agree with Jim DeFede that these are rough days for the City of Miami's Police Department (“Prosecuting the Police,” July 27). It seems the prostitution sting that snared Maj. Juan Garcia may end up haunting the department. I live off the boulevard and have observed the female decoy officers waving down drivers. You can spot them because they are usually the good-looking ones.

They are not supposed to entice a citizen to solicit but it has become a numbers game, just as there is a quota for writing traffic tickets. Once an arrest is made, the case becomes the citizen's word against the City of Miami Police Department. Why not videotape the alleged solicitation and spare the city and the citizens needless embarrassment? If they did solicit, the tape will show it; and if they didn't the citizen can keep his dignity and integrity intact. Plus the city would save on the cost of court trials. Other major cities use videotapes and wires during such sting operations. This equipment is readily available. Let's use a real deterrent that actually proves the solicitation.

Barbara Evans

No Tickee, No Jobee
Miami-Dade cop William Oertwig has paid for refusing to issue traffic tickets
By Tristram Korten

Even Right-Wing Republicans Can Bash Cops
Write fewer tickets, catch more bad guys:
I have been reading your paper now for quite awhile, but I have never been inspired to write a letter until I saw the July 6 issue featuring Tristram Korten's article “No Tickee, No Jobee,” about Miami-Dade Police Ofcr. William Oertwig, Jr., and his decision to stop issuing traffic tickets. For a long time I have shared his belief that traffic citations and parking tickets have become nothing but methods to produce revenue. And I don't care what police departments say, I have no doubt that police officers have quotas to meet. Further I have no doubt that, in the case of Coral Gables, rewards or punishments are given out according to who gives more tickets and who gives fewer.

I have seen three motorcycle police officers on Ponce de Leon giving tickets for speeding. It has always occurred to me that while these officers are issuing tickets, somewhere in Coral Gables someone is being robbed or a home is being burglarized. Police officers should be used to patrol the streets and alleys of the city.

Wouldn't it be nice if there were more officers like William Oertwig, Jr.? Wouldn't it also be nice if police would attempt to educate and gain compliance rather than earn revenue? Police officers should not be monitors. I will never believe that tickets deter people from committing traffic infractions. The newspapers are full of drunk and reckless drivers with six and seven license suspensions who are still driving.

A real police officer wants to catch violent criminals, not be a revenue-enhancing monitor. My hat is off to Officer Oertwig. There should be more like him. Warning tickets would be better public relations for the police department and maybe citizens would be happier with the police if they didn't feel harassed by them.

I am a right-wing Republican who always supports the police. But when they are wrong they are wrong.

Nick F. De Martino
Coral Gables

The Sound of Whining Speeders Makes Me Puke
Lazy, undisciplined idiots also are no fun:
I had to cringe when I read Randy Nobles's letter responding to “No Tickee, No Jobee” and crying about speeding tickets. Poor Randy complained he was busted for speeding and his insurance rates went up. His letter implied that speeding tickets should be done away with.

Wake up! Are we supposed to let people drive at whatever speed they want? I have never been busted for speeding and don't see what the fuss is about. Every day I laugh when I see idiots weaving in and out of traffic, especially when I pull up beside them at the next traffic light.

Mr. Noble is like many people in Miami who think they can do as they please. What's next, Mr. Noble? Should we not require a license to drive? Or how about just letting people go unpunished when they run a traffic light?

American values haven't changed, Randy. People have become lazy and undisciplined. My suggestion is to get out of bed earlier and get an earlier start to work. Hearing people whine about simple laws makes me sick. But we do live in Miami, where people don't respect the law.

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